Lebanese Communities Hosting Syrian Refugees
REACH undertook an assessment of host community needs in Akkar Governorate, one of Lebanon’s most underdeveloped regions. With approximately one-third of the population of Akkar consisting of refugees, there has been a need to understand the pressures caused by large concentrations of displaced persons in one of Lebanon’s poorest regions. The following paper aims to provide information on the challenges this community faces and potential interventions that might support them. Results indicate that livelihoods in Akkar have been affected greatly. While Akkar already faced an economy characterized by insufficient number of jobs and low-wage employment before the crisis, the influx of workers willing to work for less money has exacerbated competition. These conditions coupled with inadequate housing options in Akkar, stress on resources, and other exaceberated factors, has strained relationships between Lebanese and Syrian refugees. As such, the report upholds that because tensions between Syrian refugees and Lebanese populations may stem from or be exacerbated by vulnerabilities within host communities that predate the crisis, strategies to address social cohesion should be considered as part of a wider agenda of addressing long-term structural weaknesses.